Goal 3: Drive traffic and capture leads
Providing public with quality content that will attract their interest and get them to share it is a great way to gain regular followers. But don’t fall into the all too common trap of writing only about the goods and services you offer. You should address whatever topics your audience is interested in and provide practical solutions to whatever issues they’re trying to resolve. Your content must educate, inspire and make them want to share it.
Use the following content types to attract and engage your prospects:
Research: Facts and figures provide a lot of value, which is why sharing your findings with others is a great way to attract traffic, build credibility, and increase your authority. When people see how hard you have worked to provide data they can use, you earn their respect.
If you don’t know what type of information your audience needs, use keyword tools like Google Keyword Planner to uncover their searches and then provide answers to questions that are not answered anywhere else.
Infographics: Use infographics to visually communicate your research to the public. Remember, this format is three times more liked and shared on social media than any other content format.
Guides and e-books: Write long and detailed pieces of content and then give them away for free in exchange for signing up to your email list. When you regularly give away worthwhile information, prospects are likely to become more receptive to the occasionally promotional aspects of your content.
Case studies: Document and share problems you have solved with your product or service, as well as how you solved them. This can work miracles for transforming your readers into your customers.
How-to articles: Go ahead and tell your audience how they can solve their everyday problems. This content type is so vastly popular and searched for that, if it’s a quality copy, you can be almost certain it will gain traction.
Goal 4: Shorten the buying cycle
Every business that has taken up content marketing should have a very clear understanding which purposes content creation can serve. Direct sale definitely isn’t one of them. As a matter of fact, using it that way is likely to trigger negative reactions. Still, this doesn’t mean you should lose scope of your end goal and forget that content indeed can help prospects move on from their current stage of the purchase journey.
Use some of the following content types to achieve that:
Blogs and newsletters: Early in the buying cycle, blogs and newsletters work well for helping audience learn about their topic(s) of interest and the available options for meeting their needs.
Whitepapers: In the early and middle stages of the sales cycle, whitepapers provide more detailed information to prospects who are attempting to get an in-depth understanding of a problem they’re attempting to solve.
Guides, Webinars, and Videos: These content types are most valuable towards the end of the purchase cycle, when buyers start reaching their final decisions. This is a great time to create webinars that can include live demonstrations of your products and give the audience a chance to ask questions and get answers. The same can be achieved, in a less interactive fashion, with guides and videos that help buyers learn how they can effectively use your products.
Goal 5: Increase customer retention
You spend a lot of time, effort and money closing a sale, so you really want to keep your customers coming back. Getting things right in the period following the purchase plays a key role in getting customers to develop a deeper bond with your company and to inspire others to consider purchasing from you.
The following types of content can help you with this:
Photos, videos, and reviews: Get your customers to share their experiences with your products by giving them a chance to post their photos and videos on your website or social media pages. Encourage them to tell the world, in their words, how your company made a difference to their lives. Doing this will create a community centered around your business, and it will at the same time inspire in your customers a sense of belonging.
Step-by-step instructions: Take the necessary time to produce guidelines and checklists that guide your clients into the proper use of your products.
Tutorials: Create video and written tutorials that train your customers so that they can become advanced users of your products. In these tutorials you can subtly make introduction to your other, related products and in that way open up new revenue earning possibilities.
Use these tips to develop a comprehensive strategy that uses content to attract the interest of prospects and subtly lead them to become your loyal customers. The effort might seem extreme at first, but when you offer a pathway of value every step of the way, your efforts are bound to pay off.
Taylor Moore is a freelance marketing writer interested mainly in small business and retail. Follow her on Twitter@taylormtweets or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE CREDIT: KEVAN